It’s finally happened: Same sex marriage is now legal in the United States.
The Supreme Court ruled Friday in Obergefell v. Hodges that state bans on same sex marriage are unconstitutional — making it legal across the country.
It was a 5-4 decision, with Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Bryey, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan joining in the majority opinion, which Kennedy wrote. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. each wrote a dissenting opinion.
It was just eleven years ago that Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health. A groundswell of public support for gay marriage followed, as did a strong conservative backlash that led 31 states to pass some form of constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions. Most had been struck down by the time the Supreme Court announced its decision today. Thirteen remained in place as of this morning.
The United States joins 20 countries around the world where same-sex marriage is now simply known as "marriage."
The countries include: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, England/Wales, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United States, Uruguay.